Sunday, July 30, 2017

Nantucket Summer Trip

We returned from our annual summer trip to New England a few weeks ago.  I am a bit delayed capturing it on the blog because we came back to a whirlwind of activity - film camp, basketball camp, band camp and a book photo shoot of our entire home.  (I will blog about the photo shoot soon.) However,  I wanted to make sure I took the time to document our trip before the memories become a little hazy.

We drove to Nantucket this year.  A first for us since we normally fly.  We decided somewhat what spur of the moment to drive and make it a 13 day trip instead of just a week.  I know it is going to sound crazy, especially coming from me, who in the past would do everything in my power to avoid any sort of road trip beyond 90 minutes, but the drive there and back was one of my favorite parts of our vacation.  We took 3 days to get there and 3 to return (it's about a 12.5 hour drive total). We took a few detours to make both spontaneous and planned stops.  My favorite moment was at a rest stop on the last leg of our trip home, when I spied Andrew squeezing Charlie in a bear hug and asking him if he knew how much he loved him.  I vowed then and there to always drive (within reason, of course, no cross country trips for us), to sing duets with Jimmy (loudly and very off key), to listen to podcasts and talk about odd events in history with Andrew, to drive through tunnels dug through mountains, to stop at country motels for the night with small beds that aren't really meant to be shared, to pull off course to lunch at the oldest inns and taverns in America, to leave the highway and take back roads through charming towns - it was all good.  The all-American family road trip has its value, both in the the way it lets you see the country and how it brings you closer as a family.  I finally get it!  Though when children are younger I still say fly whenever you can!!

On the way down we stopped in Buffalo, NY to see Niagara Falls and eat wings (of course!).  We went on the Maid of the Mist and got soaked.  In part from the falls and in part from the shower that broke out about halfway through the trip.  It was so windy and wet and we looked completely hilarious in our flimsy little blue ponchos.  We climbed the crumbling stone steps alongside the falls afterward (still in the rain and still very windy).  It was Andrew's favorite outing of our vacation.  From there we headed east to explore the quaint towns of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.  We stayed in Lenox and I made Jimmy promise to bring me back in the fall because it must be spectacular.  Before heading to the Cape we spent a half day at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.  Charlie's favorite outing of the trip! On the drive back to Ohio we went through coastal Conneticut and ate at the touristy Mystic Pizza, because how could we not? We explored Essex and Madison as well.  The RH Julia Bookstore in Madison was so lovely - thanks to the Instagram friend that recommended it.  We left with a bag full of books. We did a lot of walking down old streets and hunting out the most charming spots to sit, to eat, to house stalk.

Nantucket was perfect.  I mean really perfect.  You don't get too many of those in a lifetime.  Stretches of days where everyone is happy, sun kissed, and enjoying each other's company. The weather was spectacular for the whole week (sheer luck).  We rented one of the old whaling cottages right in the center of Sconset, complete with sloped floors, mysterious little hideaways, and oddly placed staircases.  I loved preparing breakfast on the old butcher block counters with my bare feet occasionally stepping on sand traipsed in from the beach.  We woke up each morning (early. so early) to a view of the sun coming up over the ocean and the sound of sea gulls outside.  Jimmy and I walked the bluff after tea and coffee on our little patio and gathered wildflower bouquets from empty fields to fill the glass jars in our cottage.  It was chilly at night but we slept with the windows open anyway.  Jimmy and I enjoyed a lovely date night and after dinner we took a blanket and wine down
 to the beach to watch all the stars come out in the clear, black sky. Our backyard was a shell street
with a path down to the beach.  We biked, spent hours and hours at the beach, ate lots of seafood and found a few treasures to bring home for souveniers.  A highlight was chartering a sailboat for just the
4 of us for a cruise around the island... Jimmy played quite a bit of golf...  Charlie attended a Celtics basketball camp one day and Andrew did lots of exploring by bike...  We had a fabulous dinner at the wonderfully quaint Ship's Inn (a new favorite of this trip. I have ambitious plans to recreate their chocolate soufflĂ©!) We saw an incredible sunset at Madaket, but it was so chilly we didn't linger too long after it went down....   We  biked to Sankaty lighthouse after dinner several nights....  I did a few more meals at home this year than in the past.  The more often we go, the more we tend to hunker down in Sconset and take fewer trips into town.  What I miss most when we return is the beautiful light of Nantucket and the smell of the air in Sconset.  It is hard to capture in words.  And pictures don't do it justice.  (PS. All pics with iPhone this year since I misplaced my charger for my camera battery.  Which I found pulling into our garage at the very end of the trip - inside of the glovebox!! Ha.)


  1. What a wonderful vacation filled with memories! I really need to get to Nantucket one of these days. I visited Martha's Vineyard for the first time a couple months ago and absolutely loved it. There is just something about New England, isn't there? Your photos have such a peaceful feeling! Thanks for sharing and I cannot wait to hear about the book photo shoot!

  2. Where did you stay in Lenox? My husband and I lived for a few years in Cheshire and got married in Pittsfield. We miss it terribly.

  3. Wonderful post! Nantucket is my happy place too!

    And I couldn't agree more about road trips being great family bonding time! By the time our kids ranged in age from 11 to 17, we had driven with them through most of the 50 states (starting when they were about 2). Priceless memories that they share with each other to this day..."remember when we were in Glacier National Park and..." I LOVE to hear them share like that with each other. It's a great legacy to leave your children!